Not that it has much to do with fine silver adornment or classes….? AND I bought a bunny last Sunday. You see, there was this petting zoo at Crafted and the young lady proprietor had many bunnies, including a few babies, and well I asked if any were for sale, assuming she’d say no . . . and she in fact said yes. The rest is future. We are now the proud caretakers of a Lion Head baby rabbit and he is called Bucky Barnes (Cpt. America’s sidekick). Say Hi Bucky:
Based on the idea that no action is really random, I got to thinking . . . about my career in fine silver and Bucky was just the right teacher. I’ve wanted a bunny for a long time and I used lots of reasons and excuses for why I did not own one – three dogs and a cat being top on the list of ‘OooooH NO, we are not getting a bunny’. Bucky has not met the dogs yet and the cat is not sure what to do, however, he has become a delightful, if not distracting, addition to the Phoenix Zoo. I am so, so happy I took the plunge.
Before entering the world of metal clay, I did a lot of research on jewelry making. After deciding on metal clay as my medium, I bought some clay and gear and stared at it for a long time. I was afraid of it, of doing it wrong, setting my house on fire . . . that sort of thing – my daughter was the first member of the Phoenix Magyk team to roll out a piece. It took a week for me to think it was dry enough, and gather my wits to use the torch to fire it. Once I took the plunge, it’s been a ride full of all-a-rounds.
My work has been enriching and empowering – it is my meditation, my contribution to the world and my demonstration to others of possibility.
Nothing would have happened if I just kept staring at it. Nothing would have happened if I kept telling myself, ‘I am not artistic’, or ‘that it was too expensive’ or ‘it’s too hard’, or ‘I have to kiln fire everything’ or . . . or . . . or.
I am primarily sell taught and did not take a class until 2009. By then I’d taught a few classes, and done my first show :) The class I took was the Rio Grande Certification class. Had I not been working with the material for over a year, I would have run from that first class, screaming – 7 projects in three days.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I have a sense that there are a bunch of artists out there not taking the plunge and you tell yourself all kinds of *things* that keep you from moving forward.
Stop doing that. If you have never touched the material, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to experience a fabulous medium that is easier to use than you think. If you’ve been working with the material and have not taken advantage of an advanced class . . . you are robbing yourself of an opportunity to boost your skill set and confidence.
What are some pros of taking a class?
- It’s life affirming to be creative.
- You’ll discover that you are more artistic than you thought.
- You broaden your community of like-minded people, including introverts like me.
- You will feel energized by risk taking and experimentation.
- You get to light something on fire.
- You get to tell your friends and loved ones what kind of fun you are having.
- You can make gifts galore and not feel compelled to buy an expensive fine silver piece from me.
- You’ll learn the fine art of ‘happy accident’.
- You will understand that a ‘mistake’ is not permanent.
- You will laugh and be relaxed.
Cons of taking a metal clay class?
- The drive/time? It might be a day trip. What is it worth to have fun for a few hours? To gain new skill? To consider possibility? To make something yourself?
- It’s expensive. You might have to buy some tools/clay. I can walk you through that. It’s easier than you think. I also teach ‘clay conservation’ projects like hollow forms, and mixed media applications. Additionally, if you finally take the plunge and do the Level 1 training, you’ll get a discount form many of the suppliers.
- There’s no place to work in my house. Do you have a desk/dining room table/card table? That’s all the space you need to work in really. We can talk about pet hair later
- You are terrified of a torch. I know right?!?! Just so we are clear, it is a small “micro torch”. In all of my intro classes, I teach you how to use one and I SWEAR it’s way safer and easier than you might think.
- You are feeling just plain scared. Ummmm do it anyway. The worst thing that can happen, IMHO, is you will have used up some hours of time, you can’t get back, used up some gas, put some wear and tear on your tires AND in any class, you’ll walk away with at least one new adornment that is resonant to you.
Classes coming up:
May 3 and 4 – Level 1 Certification Training. 4 pieces in two days. Boost your skill set and confidence level. The price of the class includes a tool kit and all the clay you need for the projects. It is a lot of fun and after completion you get a discount on future purchases form PMC Connection and other distributors. This is a class for the artist who has worked with the material for at least six months/has taken a class of some sort. If you are someone considering teaching, this is also an excellent boost to curriculum planing and understanding class management. You can sign up here: http://pmcconnection.com/education/class_new?class_id=45
May 6, 13 & 20 – Metal Alchemy – Introduction to Metal Clay. This is a 3 week, intensive introduction to the material. There is a lot of time to consider design, play with the material and perhaps create more than one piece. In week one, I talk A LOT, to give you a broad amount of information AND to get your gears going. Week 2, we hit the mat rolling and implement what we are learning, by doing. Week 3 is completion of pieces and a time for additional questions and learning. Class takes place at Glendale Community College:
May 10, 17, & 24 Secret Spaces. A three week intensive on how to make a large container. In week 1 we wrap an armature in clay to begin forming the container. Week two, we actually remove the armature and green-ware finish the piece, I’ll take it home and kiln fire it. Week three – brush and patina if desired. In the third week I will also give instruction on how to make a box with a hinged lid. This class requires that you come with at lease 45 grams of PMC+. I will have other tools and materials. This class takes place at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. You can sign up today using the link below. $100 covers tuition, handouts and additional materials. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=YPXW5YLKQNDTC
May 25 Mini-Intro to Metal Clay. This is a 3 hour fast paced, introduction. It’s $85 for three hours. This includes clay, a gemstone, a handout, use of tools and extras like paste, syringe and paper clays. I walk you through rolling it out, texture, cutting, stone setting, firing and finishing. You can sign up today, using this link. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=PL3XHCY3RWXYS
May 31 Metal Alchemy – Introduction to Metal Clay. This is all day introduction class that takes place at the Skirball Cultural Center. I do this as a representative of Otis College of Art and Design. This is a condensed version of a three week version and an extended version of the mini-intro that takes place at Crafted. You can sign-up here: http://www.otis.edu/ce-course?dsc=11&crs=343
Questions? Send me an email . . . put a comment on this page, I realy do pay attention.
Much love and light,